Many countries are facing decliningrates due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is no exception. Given lockdowns and flight restrictions implemented worldwide from March, the tourism and hospitality sectors — usually the third-largest component of — have suffered enormous losses and almost collapsed during the first 90 days of the global response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
In the latest report, “ Economic Monitor,” it is projected that the will contract in the next year, which would be the first severe recession since 1995. “Over the past two decades, has achieved significant social and due to the large public investments, structural reforms, along with measures to ensure macroeconomic stability,” the report notes.
Will COVID-19 Change Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia?
The’s forecast indicates that ’s real is projected to contract by 4% in 2020, which is a sharp swing from the 3.6% positive that was predicted before the pandemic. Consequently, the bank expects ’s fiscal deficit to widen to 7.5% of in 2020, around 4% more than expected before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, the country’s public and external debt is to set rise but still remains manageable. In assessing the government’s well-regarded response to the crisis, theputs an emphasis on moving from mitigation to adaptation, which is key “to ensuring a resilient, inclusive, and .” It also points out that despite this year’s setbacks, can still “build a more sustainable and resilient economy by developing a strategy to adapt,” similar to what it has done to address issues of climate change and environmental challenges.
A Strong Position
When viewed in comparison to the rest of North article on Fair Observer.and the Middle East, let alone its sub-Saharan neighbors, is in a strong position to capitalize on global changes as companies rethink and vulnerabilities in logistics. Globally, and especially in Europe and the US, corporations are rethinking their reliance on China as a key supplier, and is poised to benefit, as I mentioned in a previous
The European Union, in particular, is already calling for “strategic autonomy” in sectors such as pharmaceuticals by focusing on more reliable and diversified strategy is expected to entail tighter rules on human rights and environmental protection on imported goods, a move that experts say would boost local , and is near the top of the list.. The new
Guillaume Van Der Loo, a researcher at the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, spoke to DW about the opportunities for . “If you look at , there are more favorable conditions there for specific areas in particular, in relation to renewable energy and environmental related sectors, [and] is quite a frontrunner and the EU tries to chip in on that,” he said. “The idea that the European Commission has already expressed about diversifying could be beneficial for and that could accelerate negotiations on the new trade agreement.”
says, “ is very well positioned because of its proximity [and] because it’s part of [the] EU’s regional trade agreements, its rules of origin are kind of integrated with those of the EU.”is one of few countries that have deals with both the United States and the European Union, and it is seen as an entry point for Western investment in . As Alessandro Nicita, an economist at UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),
Yetfaces challenges in grabbing these economic opportunities, including restrictive capital controls and a paucity of high-skilled workers. Having been overhauled in the 1980s, the country’s education system “has failed to raise skill levels among the country’s youth, making them especially unsuitable for middle management roles,” DW reports.
Another concern has been raised by the National Competitive Council in , which said that if the country was to move forward efficiently, it had to end monopolies in key sectors. These include fuel distribution, telecoms, banks, insurance companies and cement producers, which have created an oligopolistic situation in the country.
The Oxford Business Group (OBG) has also released a study focusing on the success that is achieving in terms of combating the effects of COVID-19. “ boasts a robust and diversified industrial base, developed through years of heavy investment, which enabled the country to take actions to control the pandemic and mitigate disruptions,” the OBG notes. The investment-friendly climate and robust infrastructure, with ’s fastest train network, will enhance the country’s attraction for looking to relocate Asia-based production, as disruptions due to distant and vulnerable have resulted in many companies pursuing a strategy of near-shoring, the report adds.
So, Morocco’s future in, agro-business and technology may well determine the country’s capacity to recover its positive as it overcomes the COVID-19-induced recession. To do so, it will need a robust marketing campaign as a country for reliable and relatively inexpensive and a skilled workforce.
*[An earlier version of this article was published by Morocco on the Move.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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